I've always wanted to cure my own olives, but it's not every day that I spot fresh olives at the store. So I was thrilled to discover one sunny Saturday that the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was selling bags of small, black Coratinas for $5, along with a recipe for curing olives. To make bitter and astringent fresh olives edible, there are two ways of preparing them: dry-curing them in salt, or wet-curing them in brine. I went with the dry-curing method, and I wasn't let down. Although I'd opt for an olive with a greater meat-to-pit ratio next time, the recipe produced an intricate flavor that was sweet, salty, and buttery at the same time. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own, I'm hesitant to ever buy a can of olives from the supermarket again! See for yourself when you keep reading.
On a recent trip to my favorite local farmers market, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, I bought way too many vegetables — including a few bunches of elegant French breakfast radishes from Petaluma-based Marin Roots Farm.
Although radishes are available in Northern California year-round, it's during Spring and Summer months when one can truly appreciate them for their crisp texture and spicy-juicy bite. These root vegetables are related to the turnip and horseradish families, and come in a myriad of varieties, from my dainty, fine-textured breakfast radishes, with their fuschia-hued base and white tips, to fiery red globes, trippy-looking watermelon radishes, and large, sweet daikons. Learn what I did with mine
I grew up in a fruit-forward household, so I'm intrigued whenever I come across a variety I don't recognize. So when I found an article about mythical-sounding fruits called tayberries, I knew I needed to try them for myself. A cross between the Aurora blackberry and a European raspberry variety, this relatively young berry breed was developed at the Scottish Horticultural Research Institute, and named after the country's River Tay. It's been said to resemble the tart loganberry — a fruit I've never had the pleasure of trying — but with a sweeter finish. Follow me on my search to locate tayberries and see my comparison photos after the jump.
I'm completely serious when I tell people that the Ferry Plaza farmers market is a major reason why I live in San Francisco — it would not be an overstatement to say that the first time I went there, it changed my view of eating. So I could barely contain my excitement when the market's organizer, the Center For Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture, or CUESA, announced it would be instituting a Thursday farmers market with an emphasis on artisanal street food. I took a trip over during my lunch break to see what the hype was all about. Learn more about the street food market — only in its second week of existence! — when you read on.